Deacon Thomas P. O’Connell, 84, died on Jan. 4, at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.

O’Connell was born on Dec.  23, 1935 in Astoria to Michael and Lillian (West) O’Connell. After graduating from St. John’s University in 1960, and Siena College (master’s degree) in 1963, O’Connell taught at Christian Brothers Academy (1960-63), Wappingers Central School (1963-70) and SUNY Delhi (1970-95). At Delhi, he taught English and philosophy and, in 1977, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. From 1996-2000, he taught theology and was the department chair at Bishop McGuinness High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. He also served on the Board of Education for the Delaware Academy Central School District.

In 1976, he was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of Albany and served at St. Peter’s Church (Delhi), St. Mary’s (Oneonta & Cooperstown) and St. Leo’s (Winston-Salem).

O’Connell is survived by his wife of 62 years, Katherine (Schuller) O’Connell; their four children — Eileen (Paul) Keating of Ithaca, Gregory (Vicky) O’Connell of Delhi, Kristen (Tom) Ford of Ithaca and John (Michelle) O’Connell of Wallingford, Conn — 11 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, a brother, Michael, a sister-in-law, Eileen Walker, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Kathleen, and his brother, Patrick. 

A Mass of Christian burial was held Jan. 11, at St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta. Donations can be made in his name to the Delaware County Senior Meals Program, 97 Main St., Suite 2, Delhi, N.Y., 13753.